Lenovo Group Ltd is unveiling a new look for its classic ThinkPad line, and is including Advanced Micro Devices Inc microprocessors in the laptops for the first time.
The new ThinkPad Edge series, with a sleeker design, simplified keyboard and slightly larger keys, will come in three screen sizes, three colors and start at $549 in the United States. The Edge line is targeted at small and medium-sized businesses, which tend to focus on design and aesthetics, according to Charles Sune, segment manager for ThinkPad. The announcement was made ahead of the annual Consumer Electronics Show being held this week in Las Vegas. China-based Lenovo is the world's No. 4 PC maker. Its PC shipments jumped 18 percent year-over-year in the July-September period, according to industry tracker IDC. The company reported revenue for the same time period fell 5 percent to $4.1 billion. Introduced in 1992 by IBM, and hailed as a forerunner in laptop design, more than 30 million ThinkPad units have been sold. Big Blue sold its PC division to Lenovo in 2005. The addition of AMD Neo chips to the ThinkPad family will let Lenovo offer lower price points, the company said. ThinkPads running on chips from Intel Corp will still be offered. The PC maker is also launching a new entry-level ThinkPad for commercial customers that Sune said will "bridge the gap between netbooks and laptops," and features a full-sized keyboard. The 11.6-inch X100e, weighing less than 3 pounds, will start at $449.